Biological Name: Symphytum officinale
Other Names: Comfrey, Knitbone, Blackwort, bruisewort, gum plant, healing herb, knitback, salsify, slippery root, wallwort
Parts Used: Root and rhizome, leaf.
• Pyrrolizidine alkaloids, including echimidine, symphytine, lycopsamine, symlandine. The alkaloids are found in the fresh young leaves and in the root, but in two separate investigations were found to be absent in the dried herb.
• Phenolic acids; rosmarinic, chlorogenic, caffeic and lithospermic acids.
• Mucilage, about 29%, composed of a polysaccharide containing glucose & fructose.
• Miscellaneous; choline, asparagine, volatile oil, tannins, steroidal saponins, triterpenes
Actions : Vulnerary, demulcent, anti-inflammatory, astringent, expectorant.
Comfrey is an excellent wound-healer. This is partially due to the presence of allantoin. This chemical stimulates cell proliferation and so augments wound-healing both inside and out.
The addition of much demulcent mucilage makes Comfrey a powerful healing agent in gastric and duodenal ulcers, hiatus hernia and ulcerative colitis. Its astringency will help hemorrhages wherever they occur.
It has been used with benefit in cases of bronchitis and irritable cough, where it will soothe and reduce irritation whilst helping expectoration.
Comfrey may be used externally to speed wound-healing and guard against scar tissue developing incorrectly. Care should be taken with very deep wounds, however, as the external application of Comfrey can lead to tissue forming over the wound before it is healed deeper down, possibly leading to abscesses.
It may be used for any external ulcers, for wounds and fractures as a compress or poultice. It is excellent in chronic varicose ulcers.
It has a reputed anti-cancer action.
Comfrey is a perennial plant common in moist meadows and other moist places in the U.S. and Europe. The rootstock is black outside, fleshy and whitish inside, and contains a glutinous juice. The angular, hairy stem bears bristly, oblong lanceolate leaves, some petioled, some sessile. There are also tongue-shaped basal leaves that generally lie an the ground. The whitish or pale purple flowers have a tubular corolla resembling the finger of a glove and appear from May to August.
Decoction: put 1-3 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb in a cup of water, bring to the boil and let simmer for l0-l5 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.
Tincture: take 2-4 ml of the tincture three times a day.
Cold Extract Tea: Use 3 heaping tsp. fresh or dried rootstock with 1 cup water; let stand for 10 hours and strain. Bring the waked rootstock to a boil in 1/2 cup water, then strain. Mix this with the cold extract and drink a mouthful at a time over the course of the day.
Pulp: Stir fresh, chopped rootstock into a little hot water to form a thick mash. Spread on a linen cloth and apply. Renew every 2 to 4 hours.
Combinations : For gastric ulcers and inflammations it combines well with Marshmallow and Meadowsweet. For chest and bronchial troubles use it with Coltsfoot, White Horehound or Elecampane. For wound healing use with Calendula.
No information available. Some herbs are known to react with your medication. Please consult your physician before starting on any herb.